Fellow citizens of Western Togoland, Paramount Chiefs, Chiefs, and Queen Mothers,
It is a great joy and honour for me to extend to you warm greetings and best New Year wishes from the Steering Committee of the Peoples’ Liberation Council (PLC) of Western Togoland.
This day marks the beginning of another epoch in the evolution of our country, when misunderstandings will be resolved, and scars healed.
It also marks the beginning of the YEAR of RESTORATION of human dignity in two countries believed to have formed a union over 62 years ago.
For over six decades, our country has been leading with our neighbour and partner to the west (Ghana) an experience of coexistence that has been characterized by misunderstanding, misinterpretation and latent suspicion around the nature of the true relationships between the two countries.
In its effort to help clarify the nature of the union between our country and Ghana, the PLC has decided to proceed according to international laws as well as Ghanaian laws, and this has unsettled, and even embittered many of you.
Fellow citizens of Western Togoland, the confusion and embitterment stem from the misunderstanding and misinterpretation in some quarters of the Ghana – Western Togoland union, which has resulted in painful experiences for many of you.
Those who have harmed you physically psychologically and emotionally have violated and continue to violate international and Ghana laws:
• None of Ghana’s laws grants anybody to abuse the freedom of speech and insult you as is commonly done to you since Ghana’s Independence.
• Marked marginalization is not prescribed by Ghana’s laws.
• The ongoing intimidation and harassment of Western Togolanders is unconstitutional.
• The laws of Ghana allow every group of persons to make their own bye laws.
• No law forbids Western Togolanders from wearing T-shirts.
• The constitution of Ghana does not make Western Togoland a colony of Ghana. Our relationship is by a process which must be reviewed for humanity’s sake.
Fellow citizens of Western Togoland, the restoration of our country requires the participation of each and every one at different stages of the process, and in a sincere and collaborative spirit.
According to our Restoration Roadmap, it is necessary to put in place all the institutions that an independent country needs. We have a policy of making use of any amount of liberty we have to secure the greater one we deserve.
We have already initiated a legal process so that at the appropriate time, the competent Authorities from Western Togoland and Ghana will meet at the appropriate court to handle the issue.
It is important for you to know that all the steps we have been asking you to take are necessary as preparation for the case. To hang our gloves and wait for the court to raise the matter before we start looking for the appropriate authority is a way of delaying the process for ourselves.
We are, therefore, appealing to you to follow the steps legally and get in place a constitutionally elected government which alone is the right institution to appoint a competent authority to represent Western Togoland at the court.
Some of you misconstrued this advice and were rushing to usurp the Peoples’ power. Such a move has unfortunate situations in its queue.
SET POLITICAL AMBITION ASIDE
It is rather unfortunate that at the time of the participatory roadmap exercise, some of the groups refused to participate.
The attitude of seeing the PLC as a rival and therefore trying every means to sabotage it is the main sling that we are using to kill ourselves.
We have said it many times over that we are not interested in taking power for ourselves. This must ginger us all to set aside all political ambitions and cooperate in the nation building exercise first.
FOCUS ON RESTORATION
We must always keep our target in mind and stop being distracted by every wind that blows. The creation of Oti Region is an attempt to divide our attention and also mislead us to make unnecessary moves that will turn to create enmity among us so that in the long run our country will become ungovernable. The logic of it is that if we are genuinely fighting for the whole of Western Togoland, then we must not limit our opposition to the Oti Region alone. We must include the northern part also. Blind to that trap we are now acting as if the fight is for Ewes only. Some among us have even decided not to entertain people of other ethnic groups that are also in Western Togoland, whereas Western Togoland is proud of her multi-cultural diversity. If we really do not want to be divided, then we must not exclude people of other ethnic groups in the struggle. It is the duty of the leaders to let their followers know this. Our enemies are taking advantage of this attitude of ours to weaken us. This is the time we must prove to the whole world that we are proud of our ethnic diversity.
THE DIVIDED FRONT
Many people are worried about lack of unity among us. We seriously need the unity of purpose but we do not have to lose guard and allow our enemies gather us all into one basket and crush. There cannot not to be only one organization in any country at any time. There must be trading firms; there must be sporting clubs, professional organizations, social groups etc. All these together make us a country. We were trying to form such groups for people for all fronts to join and work together as one people. This method is meant to avoid rivalry and foster unity. Those of you who are working against the success of the sporting clubs, the women’s organizations and the technology incubator are damaging Western Togoland. You should all rather embrace such ideas without trading political divisions there.
One major point our enemy is using against us is the conflicts of interest among the groups. Many different maps are being used to divide our front. Let us remember that those who are making dubious gains in Ghana will never like us to become self-reliant. They are not preventing you because they love Ghana. They only want the system to remain corrupt for them to be feasting on it. But the change is inevitable. And this change is going to benefit both Ghana and Western Togoland.
If you observe those who are separating Volta Triangle and ‘Awoonah’ area from Western Togoland you will discover that they have not even worked on the areas they claim to be their “real Western Togoland”. This will show the barrenness of their intention. Ghana has her Territories well defined in her Independence Act. Every Togoland that is between Ghana and the Republic of Togo which is in the east must be clearly understood to be Western Togoland. Whether it bore the name Trans-Volta Togoland, Mandated Togoland or British Togoland, every geography student can easily understand this. Moreover, it is not being disputed by Ghana. And the people also know themselves as Togolanders. Every Ghanaian also knows them as Togolanders. Therefore those who are maintaining that assertion must drop it. And our brothers south must also not give anybody the cause to think we are a different people.
As we told many times over, the PLC is no rival to any of the groups, home or abroad. We must not be seen as such, because our mission is to benefit all. The real leaders are therefore once again invited for a clearer understanding of the PLC strategy and to urge their followers to cooperate with us for the benefit of all.
This year ends another UN Decade of Decolonization. Western Togoland is already a member of the United Nations, by virtue of her union with Gold Coast, but we need a representation there. We cannot do that without having a constitutional government. Therefore, we have to intensify our efforts and establish such a government before the close of this year. What we want to do now has nothing to do with the divisions you have among yourselves now. We are not going to do anything in the name of any group, political, social or militant. Every individual has the right to participate without even belonging to any group.
Please, note that we are in the final year. We must no longer entertain the idea of who must be the leader now. We must rather seriously prepare the way for whoever the people will choose after the process is complete.
Any opposition based on the existing divisions will definitely mean an opposition to the Restoration of Western Togoland. Therefore let us all cease fire and face our final exam now
We shall call for inputs from the general public for putting together the desire of the people upon which the Constitution of Western Togoland shall be drawn. The inputs shall be collected without distinction as to who belongs where.
With all humility, my countrymen, I am appealing to you all to set aside your divisions and participate as citizens. No Ghanaian law forbids us from putting together our desire in a book form. Neither are we forbidden to write our own constitution. Please, kindly conduct yourselves in a manner not to give others a cause to criminalize what we are about to do. All organizations on the ground are kindly requested to intensify the sensitization with immediate effect. This is where the seriousness of your efforts must be felt in every nuke and crevice of the land.
All Paramount chiefs shall be duly requested to help facilitate the process in the area under their jurisdiction.
And to our Ghanaian partners, I should sincerely request that they desist from inciting conflict, and keep this year incident free. We hope Ghana will understand that there is no need to resort to armed conflict with a neighbor that has helped to make you a nation among nations today simply because she also wants a similar recognition.
At this stage, as we are extending our friendly hand for a Governmental level review of our coexistence with Ghana, it is our hope that the Government of Ghana shall proudly reciprocate our sixty two years partnership with a total support our restoration this year.
THANK YOU ALL!!
HAPPY RESTORATION YEAR